Persistent Systems (“Persistent”), a leader in mobile ad hoc networking (MANET), announced today that it was awarded a $5.1 million contract by the U.S. Air Force to supply its Air Mobility Command with more than 280 MPU5 handheld MANET radios and 10 integrated sector antennas.

The MANET technology will enable the Air Mobility Command ‘s 621st and 821st Contingency Response Groups to quickly react to international situations that, in line with the service’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) concept, require the U.S. Air Force to set up foreign airstrips, amass fuel and other resources, and coordinate aircraft landings with host countries.

“Our MPU5s deliver robust, secure, broadband line-of-sight and beyond-line-sight communications,” said Adrien Robenhymer, Persistent’s VP of Business Development for Air Force and Intelligence Community Programs, “and they do so without Air Force personnel having to rely on third-party infrastructure, which is key in a contested environment.”

The Air Mobility Command personnel currently employ old, walkie-talkie radios that cannot share video and still imagery or use geospatial awareness programs like ATAK. These limitations mean that “first-in” Contingency Response Groups operate in a slower, more plodding fashion when trying to set up runways. Likewise, relying on only audio can lead to planning errors.

The MPU5 radio runs the robust, self-forming, self-healing Wave Relay® MANET. With this adaptable, high-throughput network, users with MPU5s can seamlessly share voice, video, text, GPS and sensor data in a true peer-to-peer fashion. The radio also has a Cloud Relay™ capability which connects the line-of-sight MANET to beyond-line-of-sight LTE and SATCOM.

Working in conjunction with the MPU5s, the easy-to-erect Integrated Sector Antennas extend the Wave Relay® MANET over a massive geographic area.

“Persistent’s MANET products extend the enterprise to the tactical edge and allow full situational awareness even in austere environments,” Robenhymer said. “Beyond AMC and ACE, we see this technology have strong applications for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control, or JADC2, concept.”

Persistent Systems plans to deliver a full complement of MPU5 MANET radios and Integrated Sector Antennas to the Air Force in January.

By Michael Kurcina

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for an agency within the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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